Screening: "All watched over by Machines of Loving Grace" (2011)

  • Spectacle Theater 124 S. 3rd Street (near Bedford Ave.) Brooklyn, NY United States

Directed by: Adam Curtis, 180 minutes

In All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011), Director Adam Curtis follows the development of cybernetic thinking through several parallel strands in three separate episodes: the profound effect of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman's liberal individualism on the early techno-utopians of Silicon Valley, the adoption of Jay Forrester's cybernetic models by the ecology movement and the broader influence that cybernetic ideas had on the counterculture of the 1970s, and the development of gene-centered evolutionary biology using the concept of DNA as an information system governed by feedback mechanisms. All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a genealogy of the metaphysical structure that underlies both the dominant way of understanding the world today--from biology and ecology, to conflict resolution and crisis management--and our experience of the world, mediated as it is in almost all its details through the complex adaptive system that is the internet.

Adam Curtis (b. 1955) is an English filmmaker primarily known for a series of documentaries he produced for the BBC between 2002 and 2011 and his recent spectacular collaboration with trip-hop duo Massive Attack that has been performed in Manchester and New York. Curtis's films usually begin with some contingent encounter from which a complex historical argument is then woven, creating interconnections and linkages between events. Although his documentaries vary in subject matter, a central theme often comes into play: the use and abuse of power and its role in society.

Film running time is 180 minutes with a brief intermission. $5 suggested donation at the door. Space is limited, RSVP is required. Please RSVP to lauren@efanyc.org by Friday, February 7.

This event is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Distant Images, Local Positions. Special thanks to Spectacle Theater and staff for hosting the event.